Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Q+A: Locking

I get questions e-mailed to me all the time. Although I try to read and answer them all, sometimes I don't. I hope those whom I've ignored over the years will forgive me, but I can't always answer everything (not enough time/energy) and sometimes things get lost or drop through the cracks.

Anyway, at times I will take a question I get and blog about it in Q+A format. Today is one of those days!

The question was: I want to perform a retry on an INSERT under DB2 Z/OS when I get a deadlock/timeout. -911 causes a rollback automatically. Is there a ZPARM or other method of turning this off? I am inserting millions of rows and do not want a rollback to the last commit point.

Here is my answer:

Well, first of all, let me recommend that you minimize the size of your unit of work. If you are inserting millions of rows without a COMMIT you are likely causing locking issues in your environment. The pages you have locked while you are waiting for your millions of inserts to finish are all unavailable to any other user of the table (assuming page locking). That means any data on any page that you have locked cannot be read by anyone else until your unit of work is committed. Any other user, running at the same time as you are, trying to get to any page you have modified, would be getting -911 too.

That being said, you can control whether or not the work is rolled back automatically in CICS (on a thread basis) using an RDO parameter (or RCT if on an ancient CICS). The parameter is called ROLBE (RCT) or DROLLBACK (RDO). If it is set to YES a CICS SYNCPOINT ROLLBACK is issued and a -911 SQLCODE is returned to the program. If NO is coded, a CICS SYNCPOINT ROLLBACK is not issued and the SQLCODE is set to -913. You will have to programmatically either specify COMMIT or ROLLBACK for the unit of work.

In a batch environment you will need to code your programs to periodically issue COMMITs after so many modifications (or using some other method like a timer or loop counter). There is no method I am aware of to automatically control this behavior outside of looking into a third party product (for example, Softbase Checkpoint Restart, and others).

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